The expanded Panama Canal is set to open on June 26, 2016. The $5.25 billion expansion of the canal will allow the newer and larger post-Panamax ships to make the passage from East Asia to the East Coast of the United States. Post-Panamax ships routing through East Asia and destined for the US will no longer be limited to the West Coast due to the canals capacity limitations. The new locks will accommodate vessels with capacities of up to 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), depending on the vessel design, this is a 64% increase in container ship size over the existing canal.
While the West Coast will always be the fastest option for reaching much of the US, it may not be the cheapest. Major ports on the East Coast believe this expansion will make them more competitive cost-wise, according to a Boston Consulting Group and C.H. Robison study. The study also sites that shippers could be the largest beneficiaries of the expanded canal, as operating costs of shipping between East Asia and the East Coast could fall by up to 30% thanks to the lower labor and fuel costs associated with the larger post-Panamax vessels. Shippers will now have more routing options, and can determine what matters most to them- expedited shipping or a more budget friendly option. Paxton can help you decide which routing will work best for your needs. Allow us to generate a custom shipping solution to meet your specific project goals today; visit us at www.paxton.com or email us at email@example.com to get more information.